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Returning to work and assessing readiness to practice

Once you have decided on your return date, you should contact your College tutor or Educational Supervisor to arrange a Return to Work meeting. This should take place around 6 to 8 weeks before your start date to allow adequate rota planning, taking into account individual circumstances.

We recommend an individually tailored return to work programme. This meeting should therefore be an opportunity to discuss any specific learning needs or concerns as well as how these may be accommodated. This discussion should be recorded on the first part of the Return to Work form.

For the majority of trainees this will require a period of supervision. During this period you will NOT be expected to be on nights or undertake unsupervised on-call duties that you may not have done for your entire period of absence. However, you may wish to perform on-call duties (including nights) with appropriate supervision (see Box 3).

The length of supervision will depend on the individual doctor in training and whether they are returning LTFT, but a period of at least two weeks is recommended. Within this time, you and your Supervisor should agree on what Workplace Based Assessments (WPBAs) or reflections should be completed (see Box 4 below).

If funding for the supernumerary period is problematic, you may wish to consider using some or all of your Keeping in Touch (KIT) or Shared Parental Leave in Touch (SPLIT) days in the weeks prior to your start date to aid a period of supervision. KIT days should be used prior to return to work which includes the period of accrued annual leave.

At the end of the period of supervision, you should meet with your Educational Supervisor again to go over your progress and discuss the need for any further targeted areas of learning before mutually agreeing that you can return back to normal duties.

This outcome should be recorded on the second part of the Return to Work form and a copy sent to the TPD. Another copy should be uploaded to your ePortfolio.

*Or local deanery equivalent paperwork

Box 3. Sample week of activities during a period of supervision


AM – Acute Gynaecology shadowing

PM – Gynaecology Outpatients clinic


AM – Supervised LSCS

PM – Antenatal clinic


AM – Supervised Labour ward

PM – Supervised Labour ward


AM – Special interest session

PM – Supervised Day Surgery


AM – Supervised Main theatre

PM - Admin


Box 4. Example of targets during period of supervision


Formative OSATs:
Perineal repair, basic LSCS, MROP, Surgical management of miscarriage

Assessing acute gynaecology patient

Discussing common obstetric emergencies




Perineal repair (including 3rd degree), LSCS, operative vaginal delivery, basic laparoscopy, Non-Technical Skills for Surgeons (NOTSS)

Management of acute gynaecology patient

Discussing common obstetric emergencies, LW management




Complex LSCS, operative delivery, intermediate laparoscopy, NOTSS

Management of acute gynaecology patient

Discussing common obstetric emergencies, LW management